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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Few More Christmas Pics












I thought this last picture was funny! I didn't realize when I was taking the pictures that Clayton had crossed his eyes in several of them. He had had enough of picture taking and was very cold. Merry Christmas, everyone! May the peace of Christ rule in your hearts!!



More Christmas Pictures
















Sunday, December 20, 2009
















































This is my feeble attempt at photography. We've been very busy lately with Christmas hustle and bustle. We had our last American Girl club. I decided to drop out so we would have more time to do things that Clayton will enjoy too.
My Mom and Dad came up this week. My Dad's birthday was on the 18th. He turned 84! He's still in great shape. We had a special birthday dinner for him. We wanted to make it special for him and fixed up the table with candles, balloons, etc. I think he enjoyed it. We love him dearly and he's a wonderful Dad and Grandpa.
My parents babysat on Friday night, and Warren and I went out on a date! It is so fun when they babysit, because I can relax and not worry about my kids! My kids have a great time with them. Clayton said he wished we had company every night so he wouldn't have to sleep by himself. Carrington snuck out of her room and got in Clayton's bed with him. They are both happily snoozing away!
We went to a local train track to take some pictures this evening. It had gotten a little bit too dark, but I took some anyway. We got yelled at for being on the train tracks by some grumpy old man. It kind of spooked me so we left. Obviously I wouldn't put my kids in danger for anything in the world! We were standing right next to the crossing where there is a light and one of those things that comes down across the track, and the noisy flashers. I'm sure we would have had more than ample warning. Oh well......it doesn't take much to scare me!








Thursday, December 10, 2009

Our field trip to Operation Christmas Child

On Tuesday, my kids and I went on a field trip with our homeschool group. That fieldtrip has really blessed our Christmas this year. My husband and I really wanted to help someone that TRULY needed help this year, not a family where the kids were asking for computers and other expensive stuff. We wanted to help someone who would REALLY be greatful. God answered our prayers for sure! We went to a collection center for Operation Christmas Child. They collect shoe boxes full of little gifts to give to children in third world countries who have almost nothing. They go to poverty stricken areas and have Christmas parties for the children. They give each child a shoebox and tell them about Jesus.
We filled 4 shoeboxes the day before to take with us. We bought things like pencils, notebooks, small toys, combs, candy, etc. Things that will mean so much to children that don't have these items. I don't think most Americans realize what poverty really is. Imagine not having a bar of soap or a toothbrush. Some of the places they go to are so remote that they have to deliver the boxes on snowmobiles, boats, jeeps, etc.
While we were shopping, my kids and I were struck by the fact that the boxes weren't as big as we wish they could be! We were going to fill one of the boxes for a 2-4 year old. We wanted to put a blanket, a sippy cup, clothes, etc. We felt such a burden for these children, and I wished I could bring one of them home! The night before the field trip, Carrington and Clayton took turns praying for each child that would receive a shoebox.
While at the collection center, we were blown away. The verse, "It is more blessed to give than to receive, " was made real to me. I honestly fought back tears the whole time we were there. We heard wonderful stories of how children received exactly what they needed in their boxes.
There were several hundred volunteers working and getting the boxes ready to be shipped. They all looked so happy to be there. They came from several different states to help. Carrington said, "Mommy, when I'm 13 can I be a volunteer?" What a great way to see God in action. At one point, everybody stopped what they were doing to pray. Everyone picked up a shoebox (including us) to pray over, for the child that would receive it. I just can't describe it.
There were white people, black people, and people from Korea or Vietnam (I can't remember which) . There were young and old people, all excited to be helping.
If you are interested, please watch the top video on my sidebar. You'll have to pause the music at the bottom of this page first. It shows clips of children receiving their shoeboxes. All of the videos are safe to look at. Just wait for several minutes before you click on them. When you first get on my blog, some other videos are on there until it gets warmed up. If you don't see Bob the Tomato in the bottom box, then the wrong videos are on there. You can also google Operation Christmas Child to learn more about this great ministry and watch more videos. They collect shoeboxes from numerous countries around the world.

Our Christmas Calendar























A tradition started when I was a child, we made our Christmas calendar a few weeks ago. It's funny how serious we all look in these pictures! We really did have fun doing it. Every day, the kids take turns putting an ornament on the calendar to count down to Christmas.





Sunday, December 6, 2009

One Solitary Life

"He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village and worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for just three years he was an itinerant preacher.
"He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did any of the things that we normally associate with greatness. He had no credentials but himself.
"While he was still a young man the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves and his executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth, and that was his coat. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
"Two thousand years have come and gone and today he is the central figure of the human race and the leader of the column of progress.
"All the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever sailed, and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as has that one solitary life."
-- James Allen Francis

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving at the Butler's

The next generation with their Grandma and Grandpa.
Matthew and Clayton


John Wayne Jr. (Malachi)

The girl's table. I couldn't get a picture of the boy's table. They wouldn't sit down for a picture!




Lily Kate.........scrumptious!




Fine dining for Thanksgiving.





The little Thanksgiving sausage. He's so cute!






Getting my baby fix.








We went to my Mom and Dad's for Thanksgiving Day. My kids always have a blast with their cousins. Clayton cried when he had to say goodbye to Gabe and Titus, his 2 favorite buddies. On Friday, we went to my in-law's house. Warren and I did a little shopping on Black Friday and enjoyed visiting with his Mom and Dad. They both like to talk about their heritage, which is very interesting to me. I found out that Warren is a decendent of a pilgrim. His name was Peter Brown. His aunt is a member of the Mayflower Society and the Daughters of the American Revolution. I think that geneology is fascinating. There is a free website where you can search your family's history: www.familysearch.org Iam definitely going to visit it!






Monday, November 30, 2009

Carrington's acting debut








Carrington takes a drama class and worship dance class at a local Christian ballet studio. She absolutely loves it, especially the drama class. They had a small Christmas recital for her drama class. She recited the poem, Whistling by Jack Prelutsky. She was also in several skits. She did a great job and I think it's a great experience for her. She will also be in a Spring recital and she's really excited about the character she will be playing. It is based on the book Just the Way You Are, by Max Lucado.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My boycott





The black marks on Clayton's face are the leftovers of war paint. It doesn't come off very easily, but he likes it. :o)
I told Carrington that I would be boycotting a certain store during the Christmas season, because they won't mention the word "Christmas". They want us to spend our Christmas money to buy Christmas presents, but for some reason they refuse to use the word. It's "Holiday gifts" or "winter cheer" or "sparkle". Anything but Christmas. It also bothers me that they have been really nasty to customers who complain about it. So I will take my "holiday cheer" elsewhere.
Tonight I was paying some bills and opened an envelope to find a $40 reward card from this particular store. I've NEVER in my life gotten that kind of a reward to a store. I won't be able to use it though. $40 is not as important as disappointing my child who is watching what I do. I don't want to compromise just to save $40. I certainly don't always do everything perfect in front of my children. They know all my many faults, but at least they know that I am trying to do what is right and am trying to please God. I don't think it's a sin to shop at that store, but I want to teach my children that you don't have to compromise on what you believe in. Carrington would be disappointed if I did.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

God's Smuggler

Clayton and Titus in the sandbox.
Clayton folding Lily Kate in half!

Carrington loving on the baby!



This is my new favorite book! Kellie told me how great it was, and she was right. I can hardly put it down! I ordered it from http://www.amazon.com/. I want my kids to read it when they get a little bit older. It's a true story about a man from Holland who became a missionary to Communist countries. It's so inspiring to see how much faith he had and to see how God answered so many little, specific prayers. If you need a boost in your faith, or even if your faith is strong, this is a great book to read!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

A must-read book for Christians
































































































































































































I just finished reading this book by Dr. Voddie Bauchum, called The Ever-Loving Truth: Can Faith Thrive in a Post-Christian Culture? You can get this book at www.amazon.com. It was very thought provoking. Dr. Baucham is a Christian apologist, preacher, and wonderful speaker. I really think every Christian adult and teenager should read it. Our culture is becoming less and less tolerant of Christianity. We need to be able to defend our faith. Evolution is regarded as fact in our schools, the media, and pop-culture instead of as a very flawed THEORY. Our family is learning a lot about all of the scientific evidence of a Creator and a world-wide flood. Did you know that there are flood legends in numerous cultures around the world? There are 270 stories of a flood to be exact. Some people will do just about anything to not have to believe in a Creator and therefore be accountable for their actions. "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" (Psalm 14:1).
The pictures above are from a visit to a historic home in the town Kellie lives in. It was beautiful! Kellie, Abigail, Lily Kate, Carrington, and I were able to tour the home with a guide. It's over 100 years old. Lots of fun girl time!


















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